The key is a new type of catalyst to be used in the Fischer-Tropsch reactor, the part of the process in which carbon monoxide and hydrogen are converted into liquid hydrocarbons. In the CTL process coal is first converted to syngas -- a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen -- and then to a liquid. Some of the CO is taken out of the syngas by converting it to CO2, in a process called water-gas shift. The researchers discovered that the CO2 release is triggered because the iron-based catalysts in the reactor are not pure. Accordingly, the researchers developed an alternative catalyst using a type of iron carbide -- epsilon iron carbide -- which they say generates almost no CO2 at all. Any that is been produced can be easily removed at the water-gas shift stage.
The researchers expect the new catalyst will play a role in the future energy and basic chemicals industry. The feedstock will not be coal or gas, but waste and biomass. Syngas will continue to be the central element, as it is also the intermediate product in the conversion of these new feedstocks. (Source: National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy Cosmos, Oct., 2018)Contact: National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy, www.nicenergy.com/en; Eindhoven University of Technology, www.tue.nl/en
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One plants it proposed near the CarbonNet carbon disposal project in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, and the other near the Collie South West Hub sequestration project in Western Australia. For the plants to be economically viable, the price of oil needs to be approximately $95 per barrel, according to Collie Synfuels.
(Source: Collie Synfuels, Australia Financial Review, 7 June, 2017) Contact: Collie Synfuels, Collie Synfuels, director Costa Tsesmelis, MD, +61 (0)8 9446 9057, www.collie-synfuels.com
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